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‘Star Wars’ fans petition to have ‘Last Jedi’ removed from franchise

ABOVE: Despite the movie’s smashing box office success, some die-hard fans are divided on their feelings towards “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.

“Let the hate flow through you,” a quote from Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi, has never been more apt.

Anger is certainly erupting among purported Star Wars fans, who’ve started up a petition to get the latest movie in the franchise, The Last Jedi, stricken from the canon. Perturbed by what they interpret as inadequacies with character development and plot, the petition creators are upset with director Rian Johnson and production companies Disney and Lucasfilm.

The petition, titled “Have Disney strike Star Wars Episode VIII from the official canon,” is composed by Last Jedi hater Henry Walsh. It has nearly reached its 15,000-signature goal. [Ed. Note: The goal is now 35,000, and it is very close to reaching that number of signatures.]

READ MORE: Rian Johnson, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ director, responds to fan backlash

“Star Wars has long been a story about two things, the Jedi and Luke Skywalker,” wrote Walsh, a native of Georgia. “After over 260 novels where we could follow the adventures of that great hero you, the Walt Disney Company decided to strike all of that from the official canon and wiped out three decades of lore. We were excited to see Episode VII to see how our heroes’ lives turned out since you took away what we knew. We saw the death of Han Solo, we saw less than a minute of Luke Skywalker.”

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“Episode VIII was a travesty,” the petition continues. “It completely destroyed the legacy of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi. It destroyed the very reasons most of us, as fans, liked Star Wars. This can be fixed. Just as you wiped out 30 years of stories, we ask you to wipe out one more, ‘The Last Jedi.’ Remove it from canon, push back Episode IX and re-make Episode VIII properly to redeem Luke Skywalker’s legacy, integrity, and character.”

“We stuck by you when you did things that hurt us before, so we ask you now, please don’t let this film stand. Don’t do this to us. Don’t take something so many of us loved so much and destroy it like this. Let us keep our heroes. Let us keep our heroes,” Walsh concluded.

READ MORE: ‘The Last Jedi’ review: The Force finds balance

Despite relatively positive Last Jedi reviews from critics, fan reaction hasn’t been as glowing. The movie has a meagre 56 per cent positive rating among viewers. (To compare, recent Star Wars movies had much higher audience scores: The Force Awakens had 88 per cent, while Rogue One had 87 per cent.)

At the box office, The Last Jedi was an unquestionable success, breaking Canadian records and becoming the country’s second-biggest opening weekend movie of all time (second only to The Force Awakens in 2015). According to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada, The Last Jedi brought in approximately $17 million in this country alone on opening weekend.

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Longtime fans of the franchise seem to be devastated by the developments in The Last Jedi, which they say don’t fit in with Star Wars‘ legacy. Skimming Rotten Tomatoes’ Last Jedi page for mere minutes yields much audience dissatisfaction with the film.

“The plot was weak and nonsensical — a hot mess of explosions and casual killing of core characters,” wrote audience reviewer The Voice o. “The characters were poorly developed and inconsistent with previous instalments. The dialogue largely consisted of worn platitudes and mindless drivel. The humour was out of place and silly.”

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“This is the last Star Wars movie I will try to enjoy,” wrote Wesley D. “It was just awful. You have ruined a part of my childhood.”

Reviewer Sau T puts it simply: “This movie is pure garbage!!!”

As of this writing, there are nearly 1,000 pages of audience reviews of the movie, the majority of them negative, on Rotten Tomatoes.

Disney, Johnson and Lucasfilm have not commented on the petition.

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